The European Union has taken a step towards greater financial transparency with a proposal to limit anonymous crypto transfers to 1,000 euros ($1,083) to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. According to a statement from the European Parliament published on March 28, the new limit would apply to transfers where a customer cannot be identified. Cash transactions would also be capped at 7,000 euros ($7,585).
The proposal is part of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism package and is expected to be confirmed in a plenary session in April. Negotiations on the final shape of the bills will then begin. The new regulations will be enforced by the European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA), which was formed in June 2022.
The AMLA’s co-rapporteur, Emil Radev, stressed the importance of close cooperation between the new authority and national supervisors. He also called for the AMLA to directly supervise the riskiest crypto asset service providers and companies in the financial sector that operate in several member states.
Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the text relating to anonymous instruments, including crypto assets, with 99 votes in favor, eight against, and six abstentions. The move is part of a wider push towards greater transparency in the financial sector, with the EU seeking to tackle the threat of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Crypto assets have long been seen as a potential haven for illicit activities due to the ease with which they can be transferred anonymously. The new regulations seek to address this issue by increasing transparency and accountability in the crypto sector.
The proposal is part of a wider push by the EU towards greater financial regulation. The European Central Bank has previously called for a global approach to regulating cryptocurrencies, warning that they could pose a threat to financial stability. The EU’s proposals also follow recent moves by other countries, such as China, to tighten regulations on crypto assets.
While the EU’s proposals have been welcomed by many in the financial sector, some have raised concerns about the potential impact on privacy and the practicalities of enforcing the new regulations. Nonetheless, the EU remains committed to tackling money laundering and terrorist financing, and the new regulations are just one step towards achieving this goal.